Stack three or four leaves on top of each other, roll the leaves up into a tight cylinder. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the basil into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons, starting at one end of the cylinder. You can also use the strips of basil as a garnish on top of the dish you’re making.
The flavors in basil – like any herb – are primarily contained within the cells of the leaf. If you tear it, it tends to come apart between the cells so that less flavor is released (because it stays in the cells). If you cut the leaf, you will break open the cells (some of them, anyway), releasing more flavor.
Crush dry basil leaves using clean dry hands, a ziplock bag, food processor, or mortar and pestle. Store dried basil in a glass container with an air-tight lid in a dark, cool, dry location. It should remain very flavorful and crisp for over a year stored in the pantry. Enjoy!
Put them in the food processor or blender and pulse everything until its coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and process for another 30 seconds or so. Then add two cups of fresh basil leaves and process until the basil is coarsely chopped.
A delicious and fresh tasting pasta sauce. The fresh basil added at the end is essential. This sauce can be left chunky (which I prefer) or blended in a food processor to a smooth sauce. Serve spooned over cooked pasta with plenty of parmesan cheese.
Add basil at the beginning of a long simmer and by the time you serve your dish, you’ll only taste a shadow of what it once was. That’s why it’s best to add the basil only in the last minute or so of cooking.
“Washing right away is actually good for the shelf life of the herbs, as it allows you time to inspect them and remove any damaged leaves, which can hasten the shelf life of the herb bundle,” says Siegler.
If you do have an excess of basil, catch it before it’s too late and blend it into a classic pesto, or chop and freeze in ice cube trays to add to dishes at a later date. As with any soft herbs, the stalks are edible and delicious, too, and will add depth of flavour to all kinds of dishes.
Creating a chiffonade of fresh basil is easy and it can be done ahead, if stored properly. … Also, when you’re preparing a sauce that uses a hefty amount of freshly chopped basil, although you shouldn’t chop it ahead, you can create a chiffonade in advance.
Fragrant, fast-growing basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors for transplanting into the garden. It is an annual plant and must be started each year, although some varieties will freely self-sow in the garden if allowed to go to seed.
Freeze leaves whole.
Yes, seconds. You don’t want to cook them. Blanching helps retain basil’s nice green color. Use a strainer or slotted spoon to remove them and place in the cold water for several seconds to cool down and stop the cooking.
Basil is a popular, flavorful herb that pairs well with a variety of meats and savory foods. Basil leaves are large and rarely used whole. Before using basil, chop as many leaves as you’ll need into small pieces that will blend well into a sauce or savory dish.
Fresh basil should go on pizza after it’s baked, not before. Dried basil can go on before and/or after baking.
Leave the basil bouquet out at room temperature, replacing the water every few days. Whatever you do, don’t refrigerate it. Exposed basil doesn’t do well in the cold. Once you’re ready to enjoy, wash and dry the leaves.
Fresh basil doesn’t last very long. Even if you keep them in the fridge, you will still find the shape of the leaves goes wither and the color turns black in about 3-4 days.
Safe for Human Consumption. Basil is one of many herbs in which both the flowers and the foliage are edible. Like many pesto enthusiasts, you probably pinch the blooms from your basil plants to encourage lusher leaf growth.
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